Voting has become a hot issue in the United States, and many people are too busy to take the time to wade through piles of articles and news reports on their candidate's positions. Not to mention, to find out who votes with you on certain issues, you need to search through every single candidate on your ballot. This can be time-consuming and frustrating, and the truth is often obscured. We decided to create a system that allows users to easily, without even opening up a laptop, find out what candidates vote with them on issues that are important to them.

What it does

On the Issues interacts with Alexa users by listing the names of the candidates that agree or disagree on certain issues such as gun control.

How we built it

We started out with the idea to use Algolia as a search engine to find candidates based on their platforms, rather than looking at each candidate and trying to figure out their positions on issues that we care about. We decided to streamline this process by creating an Alexa skill instead of another generic website. By generating data on candidates, then plugging and sorting that code through Amazon Lambda, we were able to create an Alexa skill that can help inform voters.

Challenges we ran into

Alexa is not able to read through loops, an issue that prevented us from having it run through the list of all candidates who agree or disagree with a certain issue. Algolia was also very hard to interface with, and we ultimately dropped Algolia as our middleman. We also didn't have time to get into web scraping, which would reduce the labor behind the data pipeline.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to create to make Alexa respond to questions and list the name of candidates who agree or disagree on a specific issue mentioned by the user! It gives great information.

What we learned

Node.js, CSS, HTML, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Lambda, Algolia

What's next for On The Issues

We hope to work through the loop issue and add more data. We'd also like to create a web scraping system and set up more filters that can build on one another.

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